Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Eamonn M.M. Quigley, Ahmed Abu-Shanab

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Despite the current increase in interest in the role of the microbiota in health and disease and the recognition, for over 50 years, that an excess of colonic-type flora in the small intestine could lead to a malabsorption syndrome, small intestinal overgrowth remains poorly defined. This lack of clarity owes much to the difficulties that arise in attempting to arrive at consensus with regard to the diagnosis of this condition: there is currently no gold standard and the commonly available methodologies (the culture of jejunal aspirates and a variety of breath tests) suffer from considerable variations in their performance and interpretation, leading to variations in the prevalence of overgrowth in a variety of clinical contexts. Treatment is similarly supported by a scant evidence base and the most commonly used antibiotic regimens owe more to custom than clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-959
Number of pages17
JournalInfectious Disease Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Bacterial overgrowth
  • Intestine
  • Microbiota

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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